Through the birth stories of Isa and John ( peace be upon them ) Allah teaches the upcoming generations of muslims that His powers have no limit and He is the Supreme Master of everything.
And (in due time came the moment) when the angels said: “Mary, God has chosen you and made you pure, and exalted you above all the women in the world.
(Holy Quran ,Al-‘Imran 42)
The story of Maryam ( peace be upon her ) continues in the surah named after her.
And make mention, in the Book, of Mary. She withdrew from her family to a chamber (in the Temple) facing east (to devote herself to worship and reflection)
(Holy Quran ,Maryam 16)
Maryam ( peace be upon her ) left the Temple towards the east of Jerusalem.
Thus, she kept herself in seclusion from people. Then We sent to her Our spirit, and it appeared before her in the form of a perfect man.
( Holy Quran , Maryam 17)
Maryam ( peace be upon her ) protects herself from being seen with a hijab ( a physical barrier or piece of clothing ) .
Angel Jibril is reffered to using the word “ ruh “ ( soul ) due to the fact that he is the soul of humankind and delivers what is needed for salvation.
Angel Jibril is a spiritual being that exudes all things good and pure, without being tainted by evil. Angel Jibril has appeared in different forms, depending who the message was being carried to. However, when he appeared to Maryam ( peace be upon her ), he showed himself in the form of a beautiful handsome man.
She said: “I seek refuge in the All-Merciful from you, if you are a pious, God-conscious one. ”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 18 )
When Angel Jibril ( Archangel Gabriel ) came to Maryam ( peace be upon her ), she had an answer worthy of her status which proved once more that she was a woman of modesty and piety. From all the names and attributes of Allah , she chose to present Him as being “ Ar-Rahman” ( the Merciful ). She warned Him to stay away from her , but indirectly told him that Allah is so Merciful He will forgive any bad intention he had.
He replied: “I am only a messenger of your Lord to be a means (for God’s gift) to you of a pure son. ”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 19 )
Angel Jibril was sent to grant Maryam ( peace be upon her ) a baby boy by the will of Allah.
She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 20 )
Maryam ( peace be upon her ) was shocked to hear such news, knowing that she has done nothing that would potentially result in a pregnancy. Simultaneously, she knew that her honor and modesty will be compromised in the society.
He said: “So (it will be), your Lord said: “That is easy for Me (Allah): and (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed, (by Allah).”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 21 )
Jibril informs Maryam (peace be upon her ) that Allah’s commands are effortless and He wills it and so it happens. Just as Allah granted Zakirya a child, he is capable of doing the same for Maryam ( peace be upon her ).
Isa ibn Maryam ( peace be upon him ) was a miracle who brought miracles to mankind.He was a mercy from Allah and through the teachings revealed to him, the people of his time could have reached salvation.
Maryam ( peace be uon her ) and Zakariya’s ( peace be upon him ) wife , Um Yahya ( John the Baprtist’s mother ) which was also her sister , were expecting the babies at the same time. When Um Yahya was near Maryam ( peace be upon her ), the child in her womb would bow to the child in Maryam’s, bowing to persons being permissible at that time as a form of respect. Um Yahya and her unborn baby also felt most comfortable and at peace when they were around Maryam ( peace be upon her ).
It was a true miracle from Allah to make the two messengers communicate to eacother and create a connection before they were even born.
Isa ( peace be upon him ) would sometimes speak to his mother from her womb if he was not praising Allah.
So she conceived him, and then she withdrew with him to a distant place.
( Holy Quran , Maryam 22 )
Maryam ( peace be upon her ) knew what her fate would be if she gives birth in Jerusalem . She was aware of the type of society she was surrounded by. She decided to leave , being afraid of the false accusations she would have to submit herself to not because she didn’t want to have her image destroyed but rather she knew that accusing an innocent one of being unchaste will lead them to Hell Fire . This is the kind of love Maryam (peace be upon her ) had for her people.
The miraculous birth took place in Bethlehem.
And the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date-palm. She said: “Would that I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, completely forgotten!”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 23 )
The Quran does not give explicit details on Maryam’s ( peace be upon her ) childbirth , however , we know that in her agony and due to the fact that she was secluded in complete wildness , she grasped onto the branch of a tree.
(A voice) called out to her from beneath her: “Do not grieve! Your Lord has set a rivulet at your feet.
“And shake the trunk of the date-palm towards you: it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon you. ”
“So eat and drink, and be comforted. If you should see some person, say (through gesture): “I have vowed a fast of silence to the All-Merciful, so I cannot speak to any human being today. ”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 24-26 )
She did as she was told and, dates in their ripe stage , fell on the ground. It has been proven medically that dates in their ripe stage ease the process of birth and shorten labor .
After she ate and drank in order to regain her strength, Allah ordered her to fast from talking . Allah chose silence for her, because in certain circumstances silence is better. Only He knew what was going to happen and how beautifully her own son was going to protect her.
During the childbirth, the people of Jerusalem noticed her absence and started looking for her. According to most narrations she was away for 40 days. She approached her town’s people with her new born baby in her arms.
She came to her people, carrying him.
They exclaimed: “O Mary! You have come for sure with an unheard of, mighty thing!
“O sister of Aaron, your father was never a wicked man, nor was your mother unchaste. ”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 27, 28 )
Everyone accused her of being a woman of low morals and expected her to speak up.In order to rebuke her even more, they mentioned the spotless image her family had in their society. Since Maryam ( peace be upon her ) was ordered by Allah to not say a word, they assumed her guilty. She pointed to the baby she was holding . This action of hers bewildered her town’s people as to how they could speak to one who was still in the cradle.
Mary pointed to him (the infant, signifying that they should ask him). They cried: “How can we talk to one in the cradle, an infant boy?”
( Holy Quran , Maryam 29 )
Little did they know that this question said in hatred and craze was going to be the cause of the first witnessed miracle of Isa ( peace be upon him ) by the Will of Allah.
Our Beloved Prophet ( peace and blessings be upon him ) said that there were only three people who spoke as infants and Isa ibn Maryam ( peace be upon him ) was one of them.
*Special thanks to basicsofislam for giving me permission to post some of their posts!*